THE ANGELS' VISIT (cont.)
Question: Why did they immediately accept Avraham's offer to host them, but Lot had to insist?
(R. Elazar): This teaches that we may refuse the offer of a small person, but not of a great person.
Question: Avraham offered only bread, but he gave beef!
(R. Elazar): This teaches that Tzadikim say little and do much.
The wicked say much and do not even do little!
We learn from Efron. At first, he said "(land worth four hundred silver Shekalim (is a small matter; take it for a free gift)." In the end, "Avraham heard (the true desire of) Efron... 400 Shekel Kesef Over la'Socher (accepted by any merchant)";
Efron demanded 400 coins each worth 10,000 Dinarim. There are places where 10,000 Dinarim is called 'Shekel'.
Question: Avraham asked Sarah to take "Kemach Soles." Did he mean Kemach (regular flour) or Soles (fine flour)?
Answer (R. Yitzchak): This teaches that woman are stingier with guests than men are. (She wanted to give Kemach; he insisted on Soles.)
Question: Avraham asked her to make "Ugos" (cakes of bread), but we do not find that he served them!
Answer (Efrayim Maksha'ah): Sarah became Nidah that day, and Avraham used to eat even Chulin in Taharah. (The bread became Tamei. Maharsha - she was not yet Nidah when she laughed! Rather, Avraham ate Chulin with the stringencies of Kodshim. For Kodshim, a Nidah is retroactively Teme'ah 24 hours before she sees blood. The angels told Avraham that Sarah would become Teme'ah that day.)
Avraham told them that Sarah is in the tent. This teaches that she was modest.
(Rav Yehudah): Even though the angels knew this, they asked where Sarah was, to endear her to Avraham.
(R. Yosi bar Chanina): They asked in order to send her to drink from the cup over which they said Birkas ha'Mazon.
(R. Yosi): There are dots over the letters 'Aleph, Yud, Vav' of "Elav". This teaches that (they knew 'Ayo (where)' she was. They only asked because) it is proper conduct to inquire about the host's wife.
Question: Shmuel taught that we do not inquire about women at all!
Answer: One may ask through her husband.
(Rav Chisda): "Acharei Velosi Haysah Li Ednah" - after becoming wrinkled, her skin became smooth, and she returned to her beauty.
Question: She said "va'Doni Zaken", but Hash-m told Avraham that she said "va'Ani Zakanti"!
Answer (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Shalom is so important that Hash-m switched her words (so Avraham would not know that she called him 'old').
PUBLICIZING THE MIRACLE
Question: Why does it say "Heinikah Banim" (she nursed sons)? Sarah only had one son!
Answer (R. Levi): Avraham made a big banquet on the day he weaned Yitzchak (to publicize the miracle). Everyone was saying that Sarah did not bear Yitzchak, rather, they found and raised a deserted baby. To prove this, everyone brought a baby without anyone to nurse him, and asked Sarah to nurse him (one who did not give birth cannot nurse). Hash-m made a miracle that Sarah had enough milk to satisfy all the babies.
They were forced to admit that Sarah bore Yitzchak. They said, this is because she is only 90. Avraham is 100, so surely it is not his son! (Rather, she became pregnant from Avimelech, who took her for a night!)
Hash-m immediately made Yitzchak's face resemble Avraham's, forcing them to admit that "Avraham fathered Yitzchak."
Until Avraham, there were no visible signs of old age. People who wanted to talk with Avraham sometimes talked to Yitzchak (and vice-versa, because they looked the same). Avraham prayed for a solution, and Hash-m agreed - "v'Avraham Zaken Ba ba'Yamim."
Until Yakov, there was no weakness (shortly before death. People did not know when to command or bless their children. Yitzchak blessed his sons 57 years before his death, for "I do not know when I will die" (Bereishis 27:2).) Yakov prayed for a solution, and Hash-m agreed - "va'Yomer l'Yosef Hinei Avicha Choleh."
Until Elisha, no one ever recovered from weakness (it came only shortly before death). He prayed, and recovered. "Chalyo Asher Yamus Bo" implies that he was sick other times (and recovered).
THE LOCAL CUSTOM
(Mishnah): Before they start working, tell them that you promise them only bread and legumes.
Question (Rav Acha brei d'Rav Yosef): Is the text of the Mishnah 'bread of legumes' or 'bread and legumes'?
Answer (Rav Chisda): I swear, it is 'bread and legumes.'
(Mishnah - R. Shimon ben Gamliel): There was no need for this. All is like the local custom.
Question: What does 'all' come to include?
Answer: It includes the following case (R. Shimon holds like Chachamim. The custom overrides the rule that 'to take money from another, one must bring proof.')
(Mishnah - R. Yehoshua): If one hires a worker 'like one or two of the people of the city', he gets the lowest wage people get;
Chachamim say, he gets the average of the highest and lowest wages (Rambam; Rashi - he gets an intermediate wage).
WHEN WORKERS MAY EAT THE OWNER'S FOOD
(Mishnah): If one is working with finished food attached to the ground (Tosfos - it is ready to be harvested; Rashi - he is harvesting), or any labor with detached food that (needs further processing and therefore) is exempt from Ma'aser, he may eat;
If one is working with unfinished attached food, or with detached (finished) food that must be tithed (before eating), or with food that did not grow from the ground, he may not eat.
(Gemara) Question: What is the source of this?
Answer: "B'Cherem Re'echa you may eat."
Question: What is the source to permit eating in places other than a vineyard?
Answer #1: We learn from a vineyard. A worker may eat grapes in a vineyard; they grow from the ground and are finished. Also anyone working with finished food that grows from the ground may eat.
Objection: We cannot learn from a vineyard. There, workers may eat, for the owner must also leave Olelos (deficient clusters) for the poor. (For other Peros, there is no law analogous to Olelos. Perhaps workers may not eat!)
Answer #2: We learn from Kamah (standing crop, i.e. grain).
Question: What is the source that he may eat Kamah?
Answer: "B'Kamas Re'echa".
Objection: We cannot learn from Kamah, for Chalah must be separated (when making a dough) from it.
Question: What is the source that the verse discusses Kamah (of the five grains,) from which Chalah must be taken? Perhaps it discusses any standing crop!
Answer: We learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Kamah-Kamah" from the Omer offered on the second day of Pesach. Just like that discusses (barley,) something from which Chalah is taken, also here.
Answer #3: We learn from a vineyard that permission to eat does not depend on liability to take Chalah.
Question: We cannot learn from a vineyard, for one must leave Olelos there!
Answer: We learn from Kamah that permission to eat does not depend on Olelos.
The stringency of each is unlike the stringency of the other. What is common to both is that they grow from the ground, and when they are finished, anyone working with them may eat them. Likewise, anything that grows from the ground, when it is finished, anyone working with it may eat it.
Objection: We cannot learn from the Tzad ha'Shavah, since (products of) both grapes and Kamah are offered on the Mizbe'ach!
Concession: At least we can learn to olives, for its oil is offered on the Mizbe'ach.
Question: We need not learn olives from the Tzad ha'Shavah. An olive orchard itself is called a vineyard - "Kerem Zayis"!
Answer (Rav Papa): It is called "Kerem Zayis", it is not called just 'Kerem'.
We still have no source for foods not offered on the Mizbe'ach.
Answer #3 (Shmuel): "V'Chermesh (and a scythe)" includes anything harvested with a scythe.
Question: That is needed to teach that one may eat only when he harvests them (Rashi; Tosfos - they are ready for harvesting) with a scythe!
Answer: We learn that from "v'El Kelyecha Lo Siten."
Objection: This teaches only things harvested with a scythe. What is the source for things not harvested with a scythe?
Answer #4 (R. Yitzchak): "Kamah" includes anything that stands (i.e. grows from the ground).
Question: We proved that "Kamah" only refers to things from which Chalah must be taken!
Answer: That was before we expounded "V'Chermesh";
Now that "v'Chermesh" teaches anything harvested with a scythe, whether or not Chalah is taken from it, "Kamah" is extra to teach everything that grows from the ground.
Question: Now that we learned everything from "Kamah" and "v'Chermesh", why did the Torah have to write "Kerem"?
Answer (Rava): It teaches about the special laws of a vineyard;
(Beraisa): It says "Ki Savo" regarding eating in another's vineyard, and also regarding paying a worker the same day. Just like the latter discusses a worker, also the former.
The Torah discusses "b'Cherem Re'echa", but not in a Nochri's vineyard. (Rashi - there, you may even put into your Kelim; Ritva - there, you may not take at all.)
We understand this according to the opinion that forbids stealing from Nochrim.
Question: According to the opinion that permits stealing from them, (Rashi - the verse is not needed; Ritva surely it does not forbid a worker), what do we learn from the verse?
Answer: You may eat "b'Cherem Re'echa", but not in a Hekdesh vineyard.
"V'Achalta" - you may eat, but you may not suck the juice and discard the skin;
You may eat "Anavim", but not grapes and something else (to make them tastier);
You may eat "k'Nafshecha" - the worker's law is like the owner's;
Just like the owner may eat without tithing (he need not tithe until making wine), also a worker.
You may eat "Savecha (to satiation)" one may not gorge himself.
"V'El Kelyecha Lo Siten" - you may eat only when you are putting in the owner's Kli (i.e. harvesting - Rashi; Tosfos - when they are ready to put in his Kli, i.e. fully ripe).